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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger WildcatRay's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Columbus, OH
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    Saving the Hidden Partition to a Flash Drive

    On my newest pc's (running Win7 Home Premium), they, of course, did not come with included DVDs that would enable me to reinstall the OS on a replacement HDD. If the HDD with the hidden partition suffers a permanent failure, I'm SOL.

    What I would like to do is create a Flash Drive that will have a copy of the data from the hidden HDD partition that will then enable me to install the OS on a new, replacement HDD.

    My internet searches have been fruitless as to finding information on how to do this. What consistently comes up is creating/using a flash drive to start the computer and access system restore and such. (I already have a flash drive set up to do this so...)

    My desire is that if and when I do have an issue with the HDD, I can use the flash drive I want to create to install the OS to a new HDD and then install the rest of my software after that. (I lean this way rather than the disk image route as I tend to try lots of different software over time with the attendant installing and uninstalling that goes with that. Even with all the various utilities that claim to "clean up" the registry, I would much prefer knowing I have a "clean" registry that comes with a fresh install.)

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Thanked 937 Times in 856 Posts
    Why bother. Just start creating Images with any good 3rd party Imaging app such as Acronis True Image Home or Macrium Reflect or EaseUs ToDo V4 or Ghost or any number of other excellent app, or perhaps Win 7 own basic Imaging app. Customize your PC the way you want it. Install the apps you want installed. Get everything set up the way you want it, not the way the manufacturer wants it. Get rid of all the crapware they installed, then create your first Image. Then create a new Image when you make changes.

    Store your Images to an Ext HD. Then if some bad happens, it takes about 10 minutes to restore to exactly where you were, all customizations and everything. Be sure to create a Boot media with whatever Imaging app you decide to use.

    There are many threads on Imaging in this forum. Read a few. This is SO MUCH BETTER than restoring to factory if something bad happens!!!!!

    I just bought a brand new PC for my granddaughter. Spent several hours getting rid of all the garbage D(H)ell installed. Install all the usefull apps and utilities. Customized the PC. Got rid of the useless Recovery Partition. Merged the recovery partition (15 GB) back into the C Drive so there is one partition containing her Win 7 OS with all apps and customizations. I then created an Image of this OS. I then tested the Image by restoring the Image to the PC. It took about 8 minutes and worked perfectly. Now if my granddaughter screws up the PC, or a bad virus get in (should not happen because I also set up a good security scheme for her) or she has a HD failure, I will pop in the Boot Media CD I created, plug in the Ext USB HD and in 8 minutes will have the OS loaded onto whatever HD is installed, whether it's the original HD or a new HD.

    I suppose if the PC has access to the USB during boot (some do not) you might be able to store Images onto the Flash Drive. The nice thing about Imaging is you can store as many side by side as you can fit into the space as they are just compressed files.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-02-25 at 10:59.
    Have a Great Day! Ted

    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)

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